For wildlife photographer Brad Josephs, watching a battle between two 1,500-pound (680-kilogram) grizzly bears is business as usual. An experienced guide in southern Alaska's Katmai National Park, Josephs has been observing and documenting bear behaviours for over 17 years.

On a recent trip through the park, he and his team witnessed one such showdown during a chum salmon run – and the resulting photographs are truly beautiful. "Grizzly bears are my favorite subject by far," says Josephs. "They are so powerful, exhibit very complex behaviour, and are incredibly intelligent. Once you learn to respect them and give them plenty of space, they are amazing animals to be around."

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Tension is often high among grizzlies when food (like spawning salmon) moves through the area. "Brawls like these are pretty common when you have young males like these two guys fishing in the same spot. They have to fight for every calorie they get."

This battle unfolded particularly close to Josephs's group – just 30 feet (ten metres) away. "It was quite exciting," he recalls. "I feel alert, humble, and very grateful every time I'm in grizzly country."

When he's not roaming the Alaskan wilderness, Josephs dedicates his time to blogging about the threats facing Alaskan wildlife. It is his hope that images like these will help people appreciate bears and will encourage conservation efforts. 

As if this stunning show of bravado wasn't enough, Josephs and his team also recently witnessed bears battling over a fin whale carcass! 

For more amazing bear photos, head to Josephs' website!